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Pakistan to formulate broadcast digitisation policy

Monday 21 Nov 2011
A national digitisation policy for broadcasting is to be formulated in Pakistan, as well as one on media development in the areas of Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan, the government has said, RapidTV News reports.

Pakistan to formulate broadcast digitisation policy

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, who announced the decision at a meeting with Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) officials in Islamabad, added that the government was committed to ensuring media freedom.

She proposed a National Media Policy in line with the “developed democracies of the world”, which would be formulated in consultation with stakeholders, according to the Associated Press of Pakistan (AAP).

In addition, a new National Digitisation Policy will help keep a lid on the “vulgar content” aired by some cable TV channels which is not in keeping with the culture of Pakistan. PEMRA’s acting chairman, Dr Jabbar, also announced a new complaints division under its remit, which would have a toll free phone line, manned 24 hours a day, as well as an e-mail address through which the public could voice their concerns about particular broadcasts.

Currently, 89 satellite TV channels and 154 radio stations are operating in Pakistan, according to PEMRA. Dr Jabber also confirmed 2,458 cable TV licences have been issued to date. Another 408 rural licences are currently being processed, the AAP said.